Land ho – overseas customers spotted

Timico engineers wave goodbye to Blighty as they depart from Liverpool DocksWhat do the following countries have in common?

France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Poland, USA, Mexico, Hungary, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Liverpool.

They are all places where we have customers. During our monthly Exec meeting yesterday a Singapore customer was discussed which made me think of totting up all the other places we have installations.

It’s quite a cool list and quite took me by surprise. We are a business with global reach. Most of them represent locations of overseas offices of UK based organisations that we supply services to – broadband, SIP, MPLS connectivity, phone systems, that kind of thing.

I slipped in Liverpool for a laugh. That’s not overseas. It’s on Merseyside – top left on the map for you Southerners. It’s where our engineers depart from when sailing to see these customers. Big port etc.

Strikes me it’s about time a certain CTO made a tour of duty to visit all these locations, just to make sure everything is ok :)

Inset photo is of a bunch of Timico engineers gazing wistfully back at the shoreline of Liverpool as they depart Blighty on a trip over the water.

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12 thoughts on “AA wots goin on ere then? On Board Diagnostics – OBD

  1. Phil Veale says:

    You may have some luck with this:

    Plus this:

    However code reading devices vary from manufacturer to manufactuer (despite them agreeing on a common interface a few years ago) and you will likely find that Torque won’t read or understand some of the codes.

    But it’s a cheap purchase and might be some fun.

    1. Trefor Davies tref says:

      Ta Phil. Worth taking a look.

  2. Christian Ashby says:

    I bought one of these:

    And keep it in the glove box. It means a few things:

    1. If the ECU warning light goes on I can find out if it’s safe for me to drive the car
    2. I can clear a warning that may be intermittent without paying the garage £60
    3. I can tell if it’s something I can fix myself (e.g. rear lambda sensor, which I did fix myself)

    All for £ not much – it’s not the AA man’s all singing all dancing thing, but was worth it for me.

    And yes, OBD is magic(tm)

  3. Stephen says:

    It’s worth getting the OBD /OBDII cable or the Bluetooth one

    With a VW and the VagCom software you can really play like;
    How long should my lights stay on for after I turn the car off
    Or Would you like global unlock or just selective

    I wouldn’t recommend changing any ECU bits though because you can really break things :)

    How long will be before the AA have to come out and plug a keyboard in and do CTRL-ALT-Del
    Or leave the battery out for 10min

    Some cars already update themselves on free WIFI when you stop to fill up
    This is good so long as the update doesn’t crash the car…(software)

    If you get an Aston Martin top spec they will ring you and warn you of low tyre pressure or book your next service in by tracking the cars data

  4. Kyle Gordon says:

    If you’re into electronics and a bit of DIY, there’s a whole world of OBD and CANBUS out there with Arduinos.

    A good starting point would be – one day followed up with a GPS shield and a GPRS shield :-)

    A friend of mine is the brains behind too, which combines all of the above in a data logging capacity. It’s hugely impressive when you see the stats coming out of the systems that we take for granted and drive every day!

  5. Seb says:

    I have a VAG-COM which gives me all the error codes on Audi.. great piece of kit :)
    bluetooth/iOS interface would be cool

  6. Michael says:

    If its diesel, be wary of the fuel injectors failing – if they fail the fuel can go via the leak off back to the tank but this causes the drop in the fuel pressure – symptoms typical of what you had. Have you had any other running issues?
    You can get cheap OBD code readers for not much money – full telemetry readouts ones are either manufacturer specfic like vagcom and a reasonable price – multi vehicle ones cost £££.

  7. pctech says:

    Looks like your wish has been answered Tref

    Also Google Onstar which is available in the States on GM vehicles but not here sadly yet

    OnStar isn’t realtime but does give you a monthly report on maintenance stuff and an operator can run checks for you.

  8. you guys need to join the modern world.

    BMW has had a data sim in their cars since 2005. It’s called Connected Drive.

    My old 535d that I bought in 2006 would allow you to transfer locations from google maps, upload contacts, manage routes and handle service booking and search google for business locations, you could located your car via an iPhone app- it was excellent.

    My M3 has the latest Connected drive – which does all of the above plus:

    Has a Twitter and Facebook Client, Web Radio. Will read emails from my iPhone or Blackberry.

    It has Internet access and uses your regular phone as a tether.


    I can also stream video or music via DLNA to the screen in the car or to the cars audio system.

    With the BMW iPhone app, I can blink the links, turn on/off the heating system, track the location of the car, get stats on the cars performance (MPG etc), open the door, lock the car, open the boot, make the windows go down etc.


    1. Trefor Davies tref says:

      Does it do the ironing? :)

  9. I can drive over your favourite suit and see ? 😀

    1. Trefor Davies tref says:

      Funnily enough I knew you’d say that. Actually I don’t wear suits though I have got one somewhere:)

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